Extremely Slow Coolant Leak on '06 2.5i
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This is a discussion on Extremely Slow Coolant Leak on '06 2.5i within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I'm the original owner of my car, its a 2006 impreza wagon N/A, its got 43k on it and the ...

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    Extremely Slow Coolant Leak on '06 2.5i

    I'm the original owner of my car, its a 2006 impreza wagon N/A, its got 43k on it and the past 3 oil changes or so I've noticed my coolant reservoir was at the min cold level. It only takes 250ml to raise it to the max line. I hadn't been payin close attention to it until recently. 3 and a half weeks ago, Jan. 26th, I noticed that the coolant was at the min cold level so I added the 250ml that it takes to raise it to the max line. Now its about 1.5-2cm below the max line. Wheres the coolant going? Is this normal for our cars? I've checked the engine and tranny oil and they both look fine, no bubbles or cloudyness, no scent of coolant. Any ideas guys/gals? thanks for any help.

    -Peace n Love-
    Mikey

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Have the cooling system pressure tested. Ask the person doing it to squeeze the top hose a bit and tap it while the system is under pressure (a know source of hard-to-find leaks; all's well until the motor moves slightly) and ask them to look closely at the hose fittings on both ends of the rad, the heater in/out, and the turbo overflow canister.
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    Could be the head gaskets, turbo, etc. Take it to the dealer you still have warranty left. 60k powertrain.
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    Its a N/A 06 2.5i, I don't have a turbo so no extra hoses from the radiator. I'm pretty sure I only have 2 hoses coming in/out from it, I'll check again tomorrow. I don't have any spots under my car, or any noticeable drips inside the engine bay.

    As for a blown head gasket, wouldn't there be coolant in my motor oil? Or on my spark plugs? When I changed them at 35k they were still basically brand new, no wetness no deposits, but for 9 bucks why wouldn't you.

    I know I should take it back to the dealer, but I don't like them ever since they wanted 500+ dollars for a 30k service. I did it all but the coolant change for under 150$. What about goin to autozone and renting their compression tester? That way I can squeeze that upper hose, and check all clamps and what not. Are the rent a tools not as accurate? I've used them before on my step dads Durango, when we changed the water pump and freeze plugs, but thats another nightmare from hell for never again.

    And one more off topic one.

    Anyone know where to get good rotors cheap? the dealer wanted $96 for each of the rears and about $87 for the front. I was gonna change them next time I do my brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyphotog View Post
    Its a N/A 06 2.5i, I don't have a turbo so no extra hoses from the radiator. I'm pretty sure I only have 2 hoses coming in/out from it, I'll check again tomorrow.
    There will be two main hoses and one overflow, but there will be other hoses in the engine bay. Check them all and check for residue around the hose clamps. Also check the top seam of the radiator, where the metal meets the plastic, for residue and signs of leaking under max pressure.

    As for a blown head gasket, wouldn't there be coolant in my motor oil? Or on my spark plugs?
    Not necessarily. The gasket could fail towards the outside.

    I know I should take it back to the dealer, but I don't like them ever since they wanted 500+ dollars for a 30k service. I did it all but the coolant change for under 150$.
    Who did the coolant flush? Was the stopcock on the radiator closed properly? Is the o-ring that goes on the stopcock still in place?

    What about goin to autozone and renting their compression tester? That way I can squeeze that upper hose, and check all clamps and what not. Are the rent a tools not as accurate?
    Sure, you might try that. Usually the tools work fine. Do not exceed max stated pressure for the system (check the radiator cap or book for the pressure value).

    Anyone know where to get good rotors cheap? ... I was gonna change them next time I do my brakes.
    Several vendors here and elsewhere sell stock rotor blanks and by shopping online you might be able to save 20-40%. However, unless something is wrong you do not need to change them.
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    No one. I haven't flushed the coolant, my baby still has original factory coolant. It looks clean, and I don't see any particles floating when I take the pressurized cap off. Should I change it? What do I do with the old coolant?

    Thanks SD_GR, you are full of tons of useful information.

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    You're welcome. If you are at the mileage or age suggested in the owner's manual, change the coolant. You can buy genuine Subaru coolant at any dealer or order it online. Search on how to burp the system to avoid overheating when you change the coolant. Your city will likely have a collection center that will take the old coolant. Don't let pets or kids around it, since it has a sweet taste and interesting colour but is toxic.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Still can't find the leak

    I checked all hoses and clamps coming from or going to the radiator, checked the clamps on both ends of the hoses. Checked the top of the radiator, where the metal meets the plastic top, and the same on the bottom. And there was no evidence of a leak. And this was after I just drove the car about 30miles on surface streets.

    The local autozone didn't have the coolant system pressure tester, I have to go to San Clemente, 2-3 towns over. Maybe I'll get to that today, but most likely tomorrow cause I've got to go to my crazy alzheimers grandmas b-day dinner tonight. I'll keep you posted.

    Thanks again for all the help guys

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    OK good luck.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    What a lag on getting that pressure tester huh?

    Well I finally picked it up today, I'm waiting for the car to cool down now. I'll let you know when I'm done.

    Anyone know the psi a N/A '06 2.5i should be tested at?

    On a side note: This morning when I checked my oil before I started my car(1st crank of the day) the first time I pull out the dipstick, it reads full. I wipe it clean, check again, just below the full on one side, halfway down on the other? Same thing a couple times.

    I'm waitin 15 min or so to check the oil again and see if its different warm but sittin for 20min.

    I noticed I had some oil in the air box right before my throttle body, and some in 2 of the 3 hoses that come from the cylinders to return some exhaust fumes. Is that normal? Is it cause of high rpm driving? like takin it to 5k a few times a week?(Its so hard to drive like a granny, even in a N/A Suby.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyphotog View Post
    Anyone know the psi a N/A '06 2.5i should be tested at?
    The rad cap often is marked with a pressure.

    On a side note: This morning when I checked my oil before I started my car(1st crank of the day) the first time I pull out the dipstick, it reads full. I wipe it clean, check again, just below the full on one side, halfway down on the other? Same thing a couple times.
    It does that. Very inconsistent reads sometimes, so I do multiples even though deep down I know people watching must think I have psychiatric problems.

    I noticed I had some oil in the air box right before my throttle body, and some in 2 of the 3 hoses that come from the cylinders to return some exhaust fumes. Is that normal? Is it cause of high rpm driving? like takin it to 5k a few times a week?(Its so hard to drive like a granny, even in a N/A Suby.)
    Sorry I don't know enough about your motor layout.
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Thanks SD_GR. I found the markin on the cap, really tiny just below all the Japanese writing. Still waitin for it to cool down. I'll let you know when I test it.

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    Ok good.

    If you get bored while waiting, eyeball the hose clamps on both ends of each main radiator hose (stay safe!).

    My car is 6 years old, and each and every hose clamp installed by the factory has a little white residue around it. Some of them may back out a bit, some may just loosen with age, some may have never been very tight.

    Don't overtighten anything and don't fix what's not broken, but I mention it to point out that I believe the hoses -- universally -- can seep.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Ya, I already took off the splash guard and checked every hose that comes in/out of the radiator. At both ends too(at least where I could.) Didn't see anything, none of that white/greenish residue of dried/evaporated coolant. No wetness anywhere, no spots on the ground where I park in the same spot every night. The hose clamps are the squeeze kind, not the screw tight kind. Still pretty hot, so I wait.

    While I wait I'm gonna take off that air box and clean it with some brake cleaner and let it dry real well before I put it back on. Then check it in a week or so and see what it looks like.

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    Make sure whatever cleaner you select is safe for plastics.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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